Moral quandaries are the struggle between right and wrong. Teachers adduce pass or fail, police look at guilt and innocence, doctors think of life and death, and parents can act out of love or obligation. Even pizza has its own tug of war between pepperoni or pineapple.
Still, people look at the exact same thing and draw different conclusions.
In politics, there are those who say, “I am always right,” and others who exhort, “You are always wrong.” The former can make adjustments and the latter is always toxic.
There are two glaring examples today, not having to do with public policy, but both are clearly political.
First, Father Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest for over three decades, has dedicated his ministry to the Right to Life cause. He is vocal, widely viewed on television (EWTN, a Catholic channel), unapologetic, and sometimes too political (and a little profane).
Fr. Pavone was laicized recently, essentially defrocked, by an email which was clear in its intent, spineless in its open delivery through media, and direct that there is no appeal, at least to the Vatican, though I think God will ultimately not approve.
Yes, Fr. Pavone (and I will always refer to him thusly) used the term “God damn” in a tweet about Biden, has supported Trump when he was in office, and called pro-choice Catholics cowards. Fr. Pavone was part of an uncompensated advisory council on Pro-Life policy during the Trump administration but was told to quit that as too political. He complied.
"*" indicates required fields
Apparently the Catholic Church can defrock a priest for being ardently Pro-Life but hide pedophiles who diddle little boys and girls, and, worse, lie, transfer the guilty, rationalize soul-crushing behavior, and ruin lives.
I can speculate the discussion amongst the powers-that-be in their resplendent robes went something like this: “Keep your collars on, guys, it might all go away, we have lots of lawyers, deep pockets, and when the coffers run dry we can sell old churches ‘cause no one is coming back, anyway.”
Now Fr. Pavone does say he is always right. Yet the Catholic hierarchy says, to those who speak the truth or question their collective judgment, “You are always wrong.” For shame.
Our second example of “I am always right” versus “You are always wrong” is about the man of the hour, Elon Musk, who is not just crazy wealthy and kinda flaky, but a brilliant visionary. He has earned his money the old-fashioned way, actually creating things or encouraging the development of new technologies that will serve and perhaps save the world… and earn a reasonable profit for everyone involved, whether it’s Tesla or Space X. From my seat, Musk is always right and I am sure he thinks he is, also, except for Twitter, in which he has shown some regret threaded through tons of steely resolve.
Look, it’s his money. He can hire and fire and change the platform into anything he wants, and folks will use it if it’s convenient as long as it isn’t immoral, unethical, or illegal, for the most part. He invests his earned funds in a platform for social dementia, and everyone, led by a cesspool of media hacks, loses their minds. It is his money. Let him do what he wants. Recall that no one raised an eyebrow when Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, or the widow of Steve jobs acquired a controlling interest in a once great publication, The Atlantic. No one called them fascists or Nazis or even stupid.
The flip-side is this idiot SBF, smooched by the media so he is known with a triple initial designation. This kid is a soft underworked overhyped asshat from Stanford (and its pedigree!) with bad hair who throws other people’s hard earned money at political causes and lobbies heavily for looser rules in an industry he does not understand. I don’t either, for that matter, so I have stayed far away from it all, resisting the temptations and bizarre, uneasy pressure of celebrity endorsements.
The thrust here is that if you don’t support SBF’s causes (notwithstanding his felony theft) in general and liberal left policies in particular YOU are always wrong.
Those of us who still think for ourselves believe this clown should be fully prosecuted and we are still wrong, no matter what happens to him and his co-conspirators, who include all the political recipients of his egregious donations, regardless of party.
As an aside, why no one has suggested that all donations made by SBF’s FTX be placed in an interest-bearing account to be returned to investors (starting with the lowest tier of investment) is beyond me. If a normal officeholder had this dirty money he or she would burn it and its bridges. Returning it to an administrative account would go a long way to lifting one’s credibility out of a hole.
It won’t happen. This money has been spent, and chances are good that there is no written accounting. Chances are better that SBF will do minimum soft time, if any. He did want to change the world, you know. From a beach in the Bahamas.
Fr. Pavone will be proved in this life and the next as being always right on what is most important. The Catholic hierarchy, out of touch with faith and the faithful but brimming with administrative fervor will continue to find ways of telling the devoted that we are always wrong. It gives them power – secular in nature, but there it is.
Elon Musk throws his own money around, his version of being always right, while the media cowards tell anyone who disagrees with their version of altruism “you are always wrong.” Musk is therefore bad but SBF meant good, even though Musk had ownership and SBF is a clumsy thief.
I think I am always right, too often it seems, yet I do change my mind when presented with facts and data. Then (Eureka!) I am still always right in my own eyes.
But certain Vatican and US bishops and media prostitutes would insist that I was always wrong.
Merry Christmas, friends. Next year should be a doozie.
By Kevin Horgan
Kevin Horgan is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative. He is an author, retired attorney, and Marine. His work can be found on his blog Our Culture Inchoate, and his books, including his most recent novel A Face on the Flag, are available at Amazon.